About Uninterruptible Power Supplies in the Data Center - SCU

About Uninterruptible Power Supplies in the Data Center

1. Understand the uninterruptible power supply

An uninterruptible power supply is a device that allows a computer to continue operating for at least a short period of time when mains power is lost. Uninterruptible power supplies also provide surge protection. An uninterruptible power supply contains a battery that “turns on” when the device detects a loss of mains power. If the end user is using the computer when the uninterruptible power supply announces the power outage, they have time to save any data they are working on and exit before the auxiliary power (battery) runs out. When all power is exhausted, all data in the computer’s random access memory is erased. When a power surge occurs, the uninterruptible power supply intercepts the surge before it can damage the computer.

uninterruptible power supply

2. Uninterruptible power supply in data center

Each uninterruptible power supply converts incoming alternating current to direct current through a rectifier and converts it back through an inverter. Batteries or flywheels store energy for utility failures. Bypass circuits route power around rectifiers and inverters to run IT loads on incoming grid or generator power. While UPS systems are often referred to as double-conversion, line-interactive, and standby designs, these terms are used inconsistently, and manufacturers implement them differently: at least one system allows any of the three modes. The International Electrotechnical Commission has adopted more technically descriptive terms in IEC standards.

Voltage and frequency agnostic: Uninterruptible power systems are called double conversion or double conversion because incoming alternating current is rectified to direct current to keep the battery charged and drive the inverter. The inverter regenerates stable AC power to run IT equipment. When the power fails, the battery drives the inverter, which continues to run the IT load. When power is restored, whether from the grid company or the generator, the rectifier supplies DC power to the inverter and simultaneously charges the battery. The inverter runs full time. The utility input is completely isolated from the output, and the bypass is only used for maintenance safety or internal electronic faults. Vacuum fault circuit breakers are often considered the most powerful form of uninterruptible power supply due to uninterrupted power delivery to IT equipment. Most systems synchronize the output frequency to the input, but this is not required, so it still qualifies as frequency-independent.


3. Advantages of using uninterruptible power supply

The advantages of using an uninterruptible power supply include: there is no delay between switching from the mains power supply to the uninterruptible power supply. Key instruments are better supported than generators. Consumers can choose the type and size of uninterruptible power supply based on the amount of power they need to supply the device. The uninterruptible power supply is silent. Compared to generators, UPS systems are less expensive to maintain.

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